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The Best Online Stock Trading Platforms

Which Online Stock Trading Platform is the Best?

The easiest way to answer that question is to start out with your preferred investment approach. Are you a beginning investor who needs to learn about the differences between stocks, ETFs and options? Are you trying to prepare for retirement and want a relatively safe way for your money to grow over the next 10, 20, 30 years? Or are you a seasoned investor ready to take yourself to the next level as an active trader? There are online stock trading platforms that meet all of those needs - but some services specialize in one or the other.

For active traders, the best platforms will have ample tools and research on hand. We particularly recommend the ones that offer you a way to test a strategy and see how it might play out - before actually committing to the trade. Make sure that any platform you're considering has the tools you anticipate needing, from fully-featured mobile apps to access to reports and other data to guide your decision-making.

Saturday, August 20th

2022 Online Stock Trading Platform Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Fidelity Review 5 Star Rating

Fidelity

5 Star Rating
  • Strong selection of accounts for all types of investors
  • Excellent reputation for customer service
  • Fractional share trading available
  • Great perks for Wealth Management clients
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • In business for over 75 years
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Fidelity is the name to know when choosing an online stock trading platform. The company celebrated 75 years in operation in 2021, and they serve over 40 million individual investors with more than $11 trillion in assets under administration. This platform executes an average of 3.1 million trades daily. Fidelity is the recipient of numerous accolades, like Best Online Broker by both Kiplinger and Investor's Business Daily, down to awards for specific stock pickers and portfolio managers. There's no question that Fidelity is a company you can trust.

Just the facts

  • Costs
    • $0 commission on online US equity trades, ETFs, options ($0.65/contract fee)
    • No advisory fees on Fidelity Go accounts under $10,000
    • Other fees depend on total amount invested
  • Minimum Deposit
    • None on standard brokerage accounts or Fidelity Go (robo-advisor)
    • $25,000 on Personalized Planning & Advice (hybrid)
    • $250,000 on Wealth Management
    • $2 million on Private Wealth Management

Several service tiers for active traders

There are many different account types available through Fidelity. If you're a hands-on investor looking for active trading, you can definitely do that here. Skilled traders can choose a Standard, Active Trader, or Active Trader VIP account.

  • Fidelity's Standard account includes $0 commission on US online stock trades, platforms for desktop/mobile/Active Trader Pro, virtual group coaching sessions through Trading Strategy Desk, and more. As you would expect, these features extend through all their account types.
  • If you've got a portfolio value of $250,000 or complex trading needs, and you've executed 120+ stock/ETF/options trades in the past 12 months, Fidelity's Active Trader services are for you. This tier adds expedited call routing, a dedicated support team and specialists, and several other features you'll find in the comparison chart on the Active Trading page.
  • Finally, clients with $1 million or more across all Fidelity accounts and 500+ trades in a 12-month period will be eligible for Fidelity's Active Trader VIP program. It's similar to the regular Active Trader service, but VIP adds access to secondary and follow-on offerings and priority access to a team of trading specialists.

Robo-investing with low fees

Then again, maybe active trading isn't your style and you're looking for a less day-to-day type of investing. You've still got plenty of options with Fidelity. The most cost-effective route is the Fidelity Go program, which uses smart automation to build your portfolio according to your goals and risk tolerance. There are no minimum deposits required, and you'll only pay fees if your account is $10,000 or higher ($3/month for $10,000 to $49,999, and 0.35%/year for $50,000+). The next level of service is Personalized Planning & Advice, which comes with unlimited one-on-one coaching calls with Fidelity advisors. You'll still use the robo-advisor to select your investments, but your advisor consultations can help you monitor your investments' progress and work towards future milestones. This comes with a $25,000 minimum investment and a 0.50% advisory fee.

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Wealth management for investments of $250K and up

For clients looking to invest $250,000 or more, Fidelity's Wealth Management is an option. This is the most hands-on service offered here, and it includes comprehensive planning for your whole financial picture, from retirement and taxes to health care and estate planning. You'll work with the same Fidelity advisor every time, and your investments will be personally managed (not by the robo-advisor). This tier comes with an advisory fee ranging from 0.50% to 1.50% - unless you qualify for the Private Wealth Management tier, with at least $2 million managed through Fidelity and $10 million or more in total investable assets, which brings the advisory fees down to 0.20% to 1.04% and gives you an entire wealth management team. All Wealth Management clients get Fidelity Rewards: a credit card with up to 3% back on everyday purchases, waived minimum investments on some money market funds, and identity protection from Experian's IDnotify.

7,000+ options for fractional shares

One feature offered by Fidelity that isn't always available with competitor stock trading platforms is fractional share trading. You'll have a minimum transaction value of $1 on more than 7,000 US stocks and ETFs.

"A+" from the BBB

We're not surprised to see that Fidelity earns an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau: despite having over 700 complaints filed there over the last three years, this stock trading platform makes sure to respond in a timely, professional manner every time. And, what's a few hundred complaints compared with 83.4 million client accounts? But, it's worth noting that those complaints exist. They tend to center around administrative-type tasks (like closing accounts for deceased clients or providing documentation for opening/closing/transferring) rather than the stock trading aspect itself.

Best all-around choice among online stock trading platforms

Still, Fidelity easily earns our first place ranking among online stock trading platforms. Unlike some rivals who very clearly specialize either in services for long-term investors or for active traders, this service gives everyone as much - or as little - as they want for any investment strategy. Across the board, Fidelity clients praise the input from the company's financial advisors, the in-depth nature of the research and tools offered to both self-directed and managed customers, and the ease of placing trades. Fidelity deserves to be the first place you turn when opening an investment account.

Charles Schwab Review 4.5 Star Rating

Charles Schwab

4.5 Star Rating
  • Choose accounts that are self-directed, automated with professional guidance, or with a dedicated Financial Consultant
  • Fractional shares available ($5 minimum)
  • Satisfaction guarantee
  • 24/7 customer service
  • In-person branches
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • In business since 1971

Charles Schwab started his brokerage company way back in 1971, and it quickly became known as a discount brokerage business with low fees and fast order executions. Schwab is now the biggest publicly-traded investment service, with nearly 34 million accounts and almost $7 trillion in client assets. Schwab's awards include Investor's Business Daily's designation as a Top Online Broker for nine consecutive years and FORTUNE's Top 50 World's Most Admired Companies in 2022.

Just the facts

  • Costs
    • $0 online listed stock and ETF commissions ($0.65/contract on options)
    • $5 for automated phone trades
    • $25 for broker-serviced trades
  • Minimum Deposit
    • None on self-directed accounts
    • $5,000 for automated investing with robo-advisor
    • $250,000 for working with dedicated financial consultant

Self-directed to fully managed account options

You've got three ways to work with Schwab for your online stock trading: with a financial consultant, through their robo-advisor called Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, or completely self-directed on their desktop platform (StreetSmart Edge). And, because Schwab has 300+ branch locations, you've got the ability to get account service in person if you need it.

Fractional shares on S&P 500 stocks

Also, Schwab is one of a small number of platforms in our review that allow you to own fractional shares of any S&P 500 stock. The program is called "Stock Slices" and allows you to buy anywhere from 1-30 slices for a minimum of $5 each. It's a great way to invest in some of your favorite companies, like Apple or Target, without having to come up with the cost of a full share.

Intuitive tools for active traders

Getting back to your account options, we encourage you to watch the demo video of the StreetSmart Edge platform if you're a self-directed investor. Schwab describes it as a system that's "designed to think like a trader" , using AI to help you assess the markets and find/analyze trade ideas. Like most of the services we evaluated, Schwab's self-directed accounts are meant for active traders and offer $0 online stock and ETF commissions. On the Trading page, you'll get a preview of some of Schwab's best tools, from the Idea Hub to the Equity Ratings on 3,000 US stocks, a Gain/Loss Analyzer, and 24/7 support from Schwab's US-based, licensed professionals.

$5k minimum for robo-advisor accounts

Then again, maybe active trading doesn't interest you. If you have at least $5,000 to invest, consider Schwab's robo-advisor. You'll pay no advisory fees or commissions - but your investments will be limited to a "diversified portfolio of ETFs" based on your answers to a questionnaire regarding your goals, risk tolerance, and investment timeline. This doesn't offer quite as much client input as some of Schwab's rivals, but it's a great way to get your investments rolling without extra fees paid to an advisor.

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$250k minimum for fully-managed accounts

All Schwab clients can pay a la carte at any time to get guidance from a financial consultant, but you can also choose to have your investments directly selected and monitored by one of their experts. You'll need to have at least $250,000 in assets for this account to be the right fit for you. Schwab says there's no cost, but of course these professionals need to get paid somehow - and that's where you'll start to see fees on the Pricing page. We were a little overwhelmed by the different account types (what's Wasmer Schroeder Strategies? Or Windhaven? Personalized Indexing?) and their corresponding fees and account minimums. Our best suggestion is that if you're planning on getting input from a financial advisor in any way, you should reach out to Schwab before opening your account online and see what they recommend for your investment amount and overall goals.

BBB rates Schwab as "A+"

Charles Schwab receives the Better Business Bureau's highest rating, an "A+" . There were just under 250 complaints filed with the BBB in the three years prior to this review, but that's not concerning given that Schwab always responds appropriately - and with the extremely small percentage those complaints represent out of the nearly 34 million client accounts held by this company.

Satisfaction guaranteed

We're also impressed by Charles Schwab's satisfaction guarantee. That's a rarity with online stock trading platforms. It states that if there's something you don't love about your experience here, you'll get a refund of any fees or commissions paid and they'll work with you to make things better. As you'd expect, there are some terms and conditions to this guarantee (like not applying to operating expenses of mutual funds or ETFs), but it's still a generous perk not offered by most of Schwab's rivals.

Merger with TD Ameritrade in progress through 2024

But, we think it's worth keeping an eye on the overall performance at Schwab with respect to its 2020 acquisition of TD Ameritrade. The merger of those two stock trading platforms is expected to be complete in 2024, and it's hard to predict what impact (if any) that will have on the way Schwab serves its investors.

Excellent choice for all investor types

But, if Schwab manages to acquire all of the top-notch investor features previously enjoyed by TD Ameritrade (which used to be our first-place winner among online stock trading platforms, by the way) while maintaining their reputation for serving less experienced clients, that could be the biggest win-win in the industry. We highly recommend that you give Charles Schwab serious consideration when deciding which online stock trading platform to use.

Interactive Brokers Review 4.5 Star Rating

Interactive Brokers

4.5 Star Rating
  • Free trial to test all IBKR's platforms and resources; easily converts to a full account when you're ready
  • Trade on US and international exchanges
  • Advanced trading tools like Probability Lab, Volatility Lab, Option Strategy Lab, Charts, Market Scanner, IB Risk Navigator
  • In business for over 40 years

Interactive Brokers, often referred to as IBKR, has been in business since 1977. This online stock trading platform and its affiliates transact more than 2 million trades daily. Interactive Brokers has received Barron's Best Online Broker award for five consecutive years. Other accolades have come from Stocks & Commodities, Investors Business Daily, and Investopedia. Though it offers a few options for long-term buy-and-hold clients, IBKR is mostly oriented towards active, experienced traders.

Just the facts

  • Costs
    • $0 commissions with IBKR Lite
    • $0.005 commission on IBKR Pro - Fixed
    • $0.0005 to $0.0035 on IBKR Pro - Tiered
  • Minimum Deposit
    • None on Cash Accounts
    • $2,000 on Margin (limited to 4 day trades in a rolling 5-day span)
    • $25,000 to be a Pattern Day Trader
    • $110,000 on Portfolio Margin

Take advantage of the free trial

We love that Interactive Brokers gives prospective clients a free trial. You get access to all of their platforms and can try out your investment strategies on different products, exchanges, and order types. This free trial lets you use their research and news platform, their advanced trading tools (like the Probability and Volatility Labs), and see how their commissions, margins and low financing charges compare with your current broker. When you're ready to open a full-fledged IBKR account, just sign into your free trial and select "finish an application" . The settings you've customized for your account during the trial will automatically transfer to your new, live account.

Top-notch tools for experienced, active investors

There are a lot of platforms you can use to navigate your IBKR experience (and they'll sound familiar if you've already checked out Zacks Trade in our reviews).

  • The Client Portal is the point of entry for most users, allowing you to place trades, manage your account, and see your balances through a web platform.
  • IBKR Mobile gives you trades-on-the-go.
  • If you're an active trader and investor, you'll want to look at IBKR's Trader Workstation for in-depth tools you can customize to your needs.
  • And, speaking of customization, the IBKR APIs let you automate your trading or make a customized trading solution.
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Pricing varies between Lite and Pro

Pricing will depend on whether you choose IBKR Lite or Pro. Lite offers $0 commissions on US-listed stock and ETF trades. You'll pay commissions with the Pro plan, but it also gives you IB Smart Routing, which "helps support best execution by searching for the best available prices on stocks, options and combinations across exchanges and dark pools" . We encourage you to look at the comparison between the Lite and Pro plans, especially with respect to investment minimums ($0 on cash accounts but $110,000 on portfolio margin accounts).

Experts recommend IBKR

At the time of this evaluation, Interactive Brokers' listing with the Better Business Bureau was designated as "Not Rated" because previously-closed complaints were being addressed. From what we could see there, this stock trading platform has attentive representatives responding to all of the issues logged with the BBB. IBKR also gets a lot of compliments from investing experts for having excellent resources for active and casual traders, which include strong platforms and best-in-class pricing.

Best platform for knowledgeable, involved investors

For active investors of all experience levels, IBKR is an excellent choice among online stock trading platforms. You'll find a wide variety of investment options, including 135 exchanges in 30+ countries, and fees here tend to be very competitive. It's going to be a lot to swallow if you're not an intermediate-to-advanced investor already, but Interactive Brokers is definitely a resource you can use to take yourself to the next level.

Zacks Trade Review 4.5 Star Rating

Zacks Trade

4.5 Star Rating
  • Introducing firm that uses Interactive Brokers as the carrying firm
  • No extra charge for broker-assisted trades
  • Trade on US or international exchanges
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business for over 40 years

Len Zacks published his investment approach in 1978, "analyzing earnings estimate revisions to predict stock movements" . Zacks Investment Research was born, evolving into the Zacks Rank: a stock racking system that uses those estimate revisions plus the concept of "earnings surprises" to rate stocks on a 1-5 scale. Zacks Trade provides you with the tools and the platform, and then as a self-directed investor you chart your course.

Just the facts

  • Costs
    • $0.01/share or 1% of trade value (stocks/ETFs)
    • $1 for first contract and $0.75/additional on options
    • No extra charge on broker-assisted trades
  • Minimum Deposit
    • $2,500 recommended but may not be required

Has a relationship with IBKR

We think it's worth pointing out that Zacks Trade is an introducing firm. Not sure what that means? This brokerage accepts your orders, but it passes them along to a carrying firm that will be the custodian of your securities account. In this case, the carrying firm is another platform in our review, Interactive Brokers. So, it's up to you which one you prefer to have as your starting point (which may be determined by how much you're investing, whether or not you need complimentary broker-assisted trades, and so on) because they have that relationship.

You'll probably need at least $2,500

This is one of the only online stock trading platforms in our evaluation that has a minimum required investment - sort of. Zacks Trade allows you to open an account with less than $2,500, but watch out for the inactivity fees we found mentioned by some clients. Then again, when you look at Zacks' Commissions page, it clearly says that you'll have a required minimum of that $2,500 and no activity fees.

Free broker-assisted trades

Zacks also isn't jumping on the "no commissions" bandwagon anytime soon, as far as we can tell. At the time of this evaluation, they were charging $0.01/share on Stocks and ETFs valued at greater than $1/share, 1% of the trade value on ones under $1, $1 for the first contract on options and $0.75 for every additional. On the other hand, this may be the only online stock trading platform we're aware of that doesn't charge any extra fees for broker-assisted trades. (Most rivals charge at least $20 for that service.)

Best Online Stock Trading Platforms

3 ways to use your account

There are three ways you can interact with your Zacks Trade account. The entry point for many users is the Client Portal, where you can place and manage simple trades, access your account balances and documents, and manage your settings, subscriptions and permissions. Handy Trader is the mobile app for your tablet or smartphone, giving you the ability to trade stocks, options and other securities from anywhere, plus monitor your portfolio and account balances. Finally, for the more seasoned trader, Zacks Trade Pro is their flagship platform: customize the interface, access all of the research and analytics you need, and much more.

Most in-depth research around

Want to jump in even deeper? Be sure to look at Zacks Trade's Research page. You can get subscriptions at no cost for up to 20 resources, and there are 80 more you can choose as a premium subscription. The full list is available when you click on the Pricing Guide link at the bottom of the page.

Phenomenal reputation

Another plus is that Zacks Trade has an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. That can't be said for every stock trading platform we researched. Client feedback isn't easy to find, but what's out there is almost always positive. And, most expert evaluations of Zacks Trade give it high marks as a service for active traders looking for helpful tools and world-class information to guide their investments.

Well worth your consideration as an active trader

We rate Zacks Trade as a 4.5-star stock trading platform: the same score as its partner, Interactive Brokers, and definitely a "six of one, half dozen of the other" between the two. We appreciate the depth of the research provided by Zacks (which informs the IB site as well), the 40+ year history of the company, and the no-additional-cost broker-assisted trades. We could live without the commissions and the minimum deposit, but Zacks Trade is still a great fit for active investors who might still want a little bit of human help with their online trades.

Merrill Edge Review 4 Star Rating

Merrill Edge

4 Star Rating
  • Three investing options: self-directed, guided, and guided with an advisor
  • Ample tools for active traders
  • Seamless integration with other Bank of America accounts
  • "A+" rated by the BBB (under Bank of America)

Merrill Edge, formerly known as Merrill Lynch, became a Bank of America company after being acquired in 2009. There are more than 2.4 million client accounts held by this online stock trading platform, representing nearly $200 billion in assets.

Just the facts

  • Costs
    • $0 trade fees for stocks and ETFs in a self-directed account
    • $29.95 for broker-assisted trades
    • $0.65/contract on options
  • Minimum Deposit
    • None on Self-Directed Accounts
    • $1,000 on Guided Investing
    • $20,000 on Guided Investing + Advisor

Good tools if you're a self-directed, active investor

You'll pay the lowest fees with a Merrill Edge Self-Directed Trading account: $0 commissions on stock and ETF trades, no trade or balance minimums. You'll still have to pay $29.95 for any broker-assisted trades, though. This type of account allows you to invest in stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, fixed income and bonds. If this is your preferred investment approach, be sure to click on the Trading tab at the top of the site. You'll be taken to the MarketPro page and introduced to Merrill Edge's dashboard for self-directed investors. Choices include a pre-built solution or your own customized layouts (up to 25) and tons of features like robust charting (104+ technical indicators and 25 drawing tools), Level II quotes, and much more.

Fee discounts if you're a BoA customer

The next tier of service available here is Merrill Edge's Guided Investing. With a minimum investment of $1,000, you can have your portfolio built, monitored and rebalanced by one of their professionals. It comes with an annual program fee of 0.45%. But, if you are a Bank of America banking customer and you're part of their Preferred Rewards program, you could get fee discounts ranging from 0.05% to 0.15%, depending on whether you're at the Gold, Platinum, or Platinum Honors level.

$20k to work with an advisor

Merrill Edge's highest level of investment service is Guided Investing with an advisor. You'll have to invest at least $20,000 and you'll pay annual program fees of 0.85% (again with discounts if you have BoA's Preferred Rewards), but you'll have your investments fully managed and access to your own advisor on demand.

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Watch for new account offers

At the time of this review, new accounts could earn a bonus ranging from $100 to $600, depending on the net new asset balance: $100 for amounts between $20,000 to $49,999, all the way up to $600 for balances of $200,000 or more. Be sure to look for any offers in play at the time you set up your Merrill Edge account.

Trustworthy reputation

Under the Bank of America name, Merrill Edge has an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. That can make it a little tricky to suss out this platform's reputation with respect to online stock trading, separately from the BoA banking features. Still, when we look at what has been said by experts weighing in on where Merrill Edge ranks compared specifically with other stock trading platforms, the overall picture is very positive. They cite this service's low fees, ample sources of data and research that investors can utilize, and the suitability of Merrill Edge's service for any point on the investing experience spectrum.

Strong choice for online stock trading

This is a solid option all around, whether you're a seasoned investor who wants full control over every trade or you prefer to put your money in and let the experts manage it for you (no shame in that game!). While we'd like to see Merrill Edge offer fractional shares, to be competitive with similar online stock trading platforms out there, that's a relatively minor downside here. Especially if you're already a Bank of America customer, Merrill Edge is a logical choice for your online stock trading platform.

TradeStation Review 3.5 Star Rating

TradeStation

3.5 Star Rating
  • Individual, joint, retirement, and entity account types available
  • Designed for knowledgeable, active investors
  • Robust platform lets you preview trades
  • No minimum deposit required
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • In business since 1982

TradeStation is often the online stock trading platform of choice for seasoned investors who want an experience that rivals what the pros get - since this service was once offered strictly to money managers and brokers. TradeStation has won awards from Stocks & Commodities, Investor's Business Daily, Barron's, and other noteworthy industry publications over the 40+ years they've been in business.

Just the facts

  • Costs
    • $0 commission on equities, equity options, and futures trades
    • $0.60/contract on options
    • $1.50/contract per side on Futures and Futures Options
    • $0.50/contract on Micro Futures
  • Minimum Deposit
    • None

Improvements since our last review

We spotted some big changes since our last evaluation of TradeStation. In the past, they charged $5 per stock trade and required a minimum deposit of $500. Fortunately, in keeping with their rivals in the industry, TradeStation now allows commission-free trades on stocks, ETFs, futures, micro futures, and futures options, with no minimum deposit. Your account also comes with real-time market data at no extra charge, though you can choose to add markets and pay to subscribe to those reports.

Excellent tools for strategizing and planning

And, you'll still have access to the tools that TradeStation is known for. Their most notable is the desktop platform. If you need to "design, test, optimize, monitor and automate your custom trading strategies" , look no further. This is a great tool especially if you're not as experienced as a trader: test out your investment strategy before you even place your first trade. You can also back-test your ideas with TradeStation's decades of historical market data. Finally, RadarScreen keeps track of up to 1,000 symbols to present you with trading opportunities that you might not spot on your own.

Best Online Stock Trading Platforms

Slightly mixed feedback from clients

TradeStation continues to receive an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, and there were fewer than 50 complaints filed there over the most recent three-year period. Investor feedback, however, is a little more mixed than we anticipated. Some clients have used this platform successfully for years, while others report glitches with the site that have impacted their returns. It's also hard finding people with positive things to say about TradeStation's customer service team; the client reviews we read often mentioned feeling frustrated with rude, unprofessional responses from TS reps.

Good but leaves room for improvement

This online stock trading platform maintains its middle-of-the-pack reputation here. We're pleased that TradeStation has changed its fee structure to be more competitive with other services, and the research tools are still an excellent resource for investors. But, we're less than thrilled with the feedback from TradeStation clients. You might want to have this service as a backup for some of the higher-rated options in our evaluation.

Sogo Trade Review 3.5 Star Rating

Sogo Trade

3.5 Star Rating
  • Geared towards active, experienced stock traders
  • Many different available account types: Individual, Joint, Business, IRA (Traditional, Roth, SEP), Coverdell Education Saving Account, UTMA/UGMA, Trust
  • No minimum deposit, $0 commission on orders of 100+ shares
  • "Get Paid To Trade" program on some limit orders
  • Free daily newsletter featuring eight spotlight stocks and ETFs
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • In business since 1986

In operation since the mid-80s, SogoTrade tells you upfront that they serve "the independent, self-directed investor" . If you're brand-new to investing and don't know the difference between stocks and ETFs, much of what you'll find on this online stock trading platform will be over your head. On the other hand, if you're an active trader looking for accurate market research, advanced tools, and powerful trading platforms, SogoTrade might be your perfect fit.

Just the facts

  • Costs
    • $0 on orders of 100 shares or greater ($2.88 commission otherwise)
    • Contract fee of $0.50 on options
  • Minimum Deposit
    • None on most accounts
    • $25,000 for Power Portfolios

$25k minimum for Power Portfolios

While there's no minimum deposit required to start an account with SogoTrade, we found quite a few client mentions of a $25,000 minimum needed for an investment portfolio. This seems to be referencing SogoTrade's Power Portfolios, meant for long-term financial goals and definitely not active trading. If this is the type of investment you're looking to make, there are other online stock trading platforms that don't require such a high initial deposit - and whose focus is geared more towards that long-range, buy-and-hold approach.

Get Paid to Trade program

On the other hand, SogoTrade has some novel features that appeal to the experienced, active trader. One of those is the "Get Paid to Trade" program on qualified limit orders. We encourage you to read the disclosures on the SogoTrade site to get more in-depth explanations of how this works, to see if it's a good fit for your anticipated transactions with your SogoTrade account.

Best Online Stock Trading Platforms

Free daily newsletter

You can also get a taste of SogoTrade's expertise at no cost when you sign up for the Morning Call daily newsletter. It features eight spotlight stocks and ETFs to consider, all delivered to your inbox before the market opens. SogoTrade likes to point out that "100+ leading global financial institutions in 30 countries trust this research and rely upon it daily" .

Plentiful tools, good reputation

Not only does SogoTrade have an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, but there were also zero complaints filed there in the three years leading up to this evaluation. User feedback is mostly positive, with praise for the analytical tools, fast transactions, and quick access to support when needed. They also appreciate the different trading platforms offered by SogoTrade, which include SogoOnline, SogoTrader, SogoOptions, and SogoElite. Once you're a client, you can use as many (or as few) of those as you like, mostly depending on your experience as a stock trader and how mobile you need your SogoTrade activity to be.

Decent choice for active traders

SogoTrade is absolutely a niche online stock trading platform: designed for the more experienced investor who wants a fully hands-on approach. We definitely wouldn't recommend it to first-time clients who want to put their money in a safe little space and let it grow all by itself; you can do that with SogoTrade, but there are other providers who will walk you through that much more effectively. But, we're happy to give SogoTrade a bump in our ratings since our last review: their pricing and client feedback has improved over the years, making them a contender among other services focused on active traders' needs.

TD Ameritrade Review 3 Star Rating

TD Ameritrade

3 Star Rating
  • Acquired by Charles Schwab in 2020
  • Multiple types of trading platforms and tools to choose from
  • "A" rated by the BBB

TD Ameritrade is a powerhouse among stock trading platforms. In business for more than 50 years, its current stats include over 11 million client accounts totaling $1+ trillion in assets. The company was acquired by Charles Schwab in October 2020, and it's estimated that they'll be fully integrated into a single brand by 2024 - so keep that in mind when deciding where to put your investments, especially if you're also considering a Schwab account.

Just the facts

  • Costs
    • $0 commissions on online stock, ETF, option trades
    • $0.65/contract fee on options trades
    • $5/trade for IVR (phone)
    • $25/trade for broker-assisted
  • Minimum Deposit
    • None

Excellent level of service for active traders

You've got multiple options for using a TD Ameritrade account, all of which are included at no extra cost. The traditional online trading platform gives you the tools and resources you need to invest confidently: check your funds, manage your portfolio, and research prospective investments using your desktop, tablet or phone. You may also want to consider TD Ameritrade's proprietary "thinkorswim" for desktop or web. Described as "a professional-level trading platform for serious traders" , this platform offers higher-level tools than the regular platform, software that you can download and customize, and much more. Finally, TD Ameritrade is so geared towards investors on the go that you can even make trades using your Apple Watch.

Competitive fees

The fees at TD Ameritrade are in line with their biggest rivals: no commissions on online trades of stocks, ETFs and options, $5/trade for IVR (automated phone) trades, and $25 for broker-assisted trades. There's no minimum deposit requirement.

Best Online Stock Trading Platforms

Good reputation with the BBB

TD Ameritrade has an "A" rating from the Better Business Bureau. There were over 100 complaints filed with the BBB against this stock trading platform in the year leading up to this review, but they all received an appropriate, professional response - and for a company with over 11 million client accounts, that's a really small percentage.

Customer satisfaction is trending downward

However, we found more than a few recent reviews that described issues we're not used to seeing with TD Ameritrade: rude customer service agents, problems moving money in and out of accounts, and difficulties accessing accounts that result in losses. Many long-term clients of this stock trading platform speculate that this decline is directly related to the merger with Charles Schwab.

Might be smarter to go directly to Schwab

That's the biggest reason we've lowered TD Ameritrade's ranking from our last review: it's anyone's guess how long you'll still be able to open an account with this platform, between now and when the merger is complete. You may be better off starting directly with Charles Schwab (which is one of the highest-ranked platforms in our evaluation anyway) and skipping the TD Ameritrade step from the get-go.

Firstrade Review 3 Star Rating

Firstrade

3 Star Rating
  • Online and mobile trading of stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, fixed income products and more
  • Account types include individual or joint, IRA, international, ESA, custodial, and cash management
  • Research tools include streaming watchlist, Morningstar stock reports (weekly), and investment screeners
  • 0.1 second trade execution guarantee
  • Extended hours trading from 8am-8pm
  • In business since 1985

Firstrade is an online stockbroker for self-directed investors, in operation since 1985. No matter which type of investment you choose, you'll get $0 commission online trades and $19.95 for broker-assisted transactions. This stock trading platform offers 0.1 second trade executions (guaranteed), extended trading hours (8am-8pm), and a wide range of account types.

Just the facts

  • Costs
    • $0 for all online trades
    • $19.95 for broker-assisted trades (plus $0.50/contract on options)
  • Minimum Deposit
    • None

Easy to preview how the service works

Want to see how Firstrade works before opening an account? No problem. Click on the Trading tab at the top of the site, and then the Tools tab on the page that follows. You'll see views of the Dashboard, QuickBar, and Mobile platform; select "learn more" if you'd like to go into greater detail. More experienced investors should also view the "Advanced Orders" tab, to see how Firstrade handles conditional orders, trailing stops, and complex option strategies.

Decent research and tools

The Research & Tools tab offers a look at the services Firstrade provides to help inform your investment decisions. These include frequent updates from Morningstar, a Market Heatmap for getting a quick glance at the market overall, a Sectors & Industries Stock Research tool, and more. This might not be as in-depth as experienced investors are looking for in a stock trading platform, especially compared with several rival services we reviewed.

Best Online Stock Trading Platforms

Didn't respond to some complaints at the BBB

We were disappointed to see that Firstrade has an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau, for failing to respond to four out of the 12 complaints filed there. That's not exactly a huge pattern of apathy towards its clients, but there's really no reason for a company with a decades-long history to not address problems registered with the BBB.

Site glitches = losses

Recent client feedback is not as positive as we've seen for Firstrade in the past. In early 2022, there was a significant issue with the trading platform that locked accounts for a full business day, cash balances were incorrect for several days, and so forth. As one investor said, that makes Firstrade a not-great choice if you need to check positions frequently and get continuously-updated quotes. These issues (and others people reported) aren't as much of a problem if you're making long-term investments that you set-and-forget - but that's not exactly Firstrade's primary audience, either.

Not the best or the worst

Those two downsides are the driving factor behind our downgrading of Firstrade in our rankings. It used to be one of the only online stock trading platforms to offer free-free trades with no minimum deposits, earning them a high position - but Firstrade has now been matched by other services in that regard that also have a better track record with the BBB and with its investors. This isn't the worst option for active traders, but we encourage you to check out the other possibilities first.

Ally Review 3 Star Rating

Ally

3 Star Rating
  • Three ways to invest: self-directed trading, "robo portfolios" , and wealth management
  • Good option if you're already a customer of Ally Bank
  • In business for over 100 years

Ally started out in 1919 as GMAC, a division of General Motors, to help auto dealers finance their inventory. In the 1980s, this lender expanded into the mortgage industry, and then transformed into Ally Bank in 2009. Finally, in 2017, Ally acquired TradeKing Group and launched the Ally Invest online stock trading platform.

Just the facts

  • Costs
    • $0 commissions on stocks, ETFs, options
    • $0.50 contract fee on options
  • Minimum Deposit
    • None for self-directed accounts
    • $100 for Robo-Portfolios
    • $100,000 for wealth management

Wealth management begins with a phone call

When it comes to investing, Ally has something for everyone. If you have at least a minimum of $100,000 to invest, you may want to consider the Wealth Management service. It comes with a blended annual portfolio advisory fee ranging from 0.75-0.85%, but it gives you access to guidance from a dedicated advisor (who will also provide advice on other assets not managed by Ally). This is the ultimate in hands-off investing if you'd like to leave it to the experts. But, be aware that you'll have to schedule a call to get started in this way: there's no way to create a Wealth Management account online and begin investing immediately.

Only $100 required to open a "robo portfolio" account

Another option is the "Robo Portfolio" . You'll only need to deposit $100 to start, and you'll choose between two portfolio types: market-focused (2% held as cash, 0.30% annual advisory fee) and cash-enhanced (no advisory fees, rebalancing fees, or annual charges, plus 30% is allocated as "an interest-earning cash buffer" ). Next, you'll decide how to focus your portfolio. This includes income, core, tax-optimized and socially responsible - and Ally offers tools to help you arrive at the right one for your goals, investment timeframe, and risk tolerance. We like the Robo Portfolio for anyone new to investing who wants to leave all of the day-to-day account management aside.

Best Online Stock Trading Platforms

Light on details for self-directed trading

But, if you consider yourself a hands-on investor, Ally's self-directed trading is for you. You'll enjoy $0 commission stocks, ETFs and options; a lower-than-average contract fee of just $0.50 on options; plus, you can also choose to invest in bonds, mutual funds, or a margin account. We wish that Ally offered a preview of their stock trading platform, not just describing it as "intuitive, dynamic, and streaming" but actually showing prospective investors what they can expect. Ditto that for their informational articles: there's not much to tell you what research and data they offer for planning your strategy.

Lots of complaints about Ally

At the time of this review, Ally's listing with the Better Business Bureau was under review, due to some previously-closed complaints needing to be reopened. There were 900 complaints filed there in the 12 months prior to this evaluation, but the majority of those were related to Ally's dealings within the auto finance and general banking industries.

Not a big contender among stock trading platforms

Still, that's not exactly reassuring if you're choosing to set up your investments through Ally (especially with a connected account for making trades and withdrawing funds). We also think that Ally is really new to the online stock trading industry, through its acquisition of TradeKing back in 2017 - and that's why you don't see much on display that demonstrates how their platform works for the more knowledgeable, hands-on investors. Those two factors are the main reason we give Ally a "just average" rating of three stars. If you're already an Ally customer and you'd like to start investing, their Robo Portfolio is a fairly risk-free option, but for wealth management and self-directed clients, there are better services out there.

E*Trade Review 3 Star Rating

E*Trade

3 Star Rating
  • Suitable for both long-term investors and day traders
  • Stocks, ETFs, options, futures
  • A Morgan Stanley company
  • Bonuses at sign-up

E*Trade considers itself the "pioneer of online trading for retail investors" , created in the early 1980s by a physicist and inventor who completed the first online transaction sent to a stock exchange. This online stock trading platform was acquired by financial giant Morgan Stanley in October 2020.

Just the facts

  • Costs
    • $0 commissions on online US-listed stock, ETF, and options trades
    • $0.65/contract on options ($0.50 with 30+ trades/quarter)
  • Minimum Deposit
    • None

Comparable with rival platforms

E*Trade offers stock trading for every type of investor. Brand new to the market? No problem. Right on their homepage, they'll give you connections to information for how to start investing, plan for retirement, and the benefits of their brokerage accounts. Like the majority of the platforms we evaluated, E*Trade charges no commissions on most trades, and their fees on options contracts are in line with their competitors - but they give you a break on the price if you make at least 30 options trades in a quarter.

Look for sign-up bonuses

At the time of this review, E*Trade was offering a cash bonus for opening a new brokerage or retirement account funded within 60 days of opening the account. The amount of the bonus ranged from $50 (for depositing anywhere from $5,000 to $19,999) up to $3500 (for deposit amounts of $1.5 million or more) - to get the $600 featured in the promo advertising, you'd have to deposit at least $200,000. Up to you to decide if it's worth it, but definitely look at the top of the site to see if any promos are in place when you're ready to invest.

Good tools included with all accounts

Once you've opened your account, you'll have two free platforms and corresponding mobile apps to choose from: the basic E*Trade set-up and Power. The average, everyday investor will find more than enough resources with the standard platform: real-time quotes, market commentary, account management and more. Active traders will appreciate the additional features of Power, like trading ladders, technical studies, drawing tools and many other capabilities designed for executing complex investment strategies.

Best Online Stock Trading Platforms

Doesn't respond to all complaints

Unfortunately, E*Trade has an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau, for having 22 complaints that went unresolved and another 12 that received no response at all (out of a total of 300+ complaints filed with the BBB over the last three years). It always baffles us when a big-name company fails to appropriately address issues in this way - especially when we think about the time it takes for a consumer to go through the filing process at the BBB. It's not a good look for any business, and definitely not for an online stock trading platform.

Customer service is lacking

We found a trend of complaints regarding transferring money out of or closing E*Trade accounts, making it a challenge for investors to get their funds. Other people said that it was a nightmare trying to open an account in the first place, taking several months before all of the documents were verified on E*Trade's end. Plus, many clients report spending the better part of an hour or more waiting on hold, hoping to get help from E*Trade's customer support team but often winding up disappointed.

Look at other, more client-friendly platforms instead

We give E*Trade a three-star rating: the company is trustworthy and provides investment opportunities for every client's experience level. We appreciate the differentiation between their standard platform and their Power offering as well. But, E*Trade has some room to grow with respect to client satisfaction, earning this stock trading platform a "just average" rating here.

SpeedTrader Review 2.5 Star Rating

SpeedTrader

2.5 Star Rating
  • Free demo account: 14-day trial
  • Choose between Active Web and Pro
  • Choose between two clearing options
  • In business for 20+ years

If you'd like to skip all of the verbiage geared towards long-term investors and work with a platform specifically focused on active trading, SpeedTrader should get your attention. In business since 1999, this service aims to give you "the highest level of trading services at the lowest cost possible" .

Just the facts

  • Costs
    • Starting at $2.49/trade on Stocks and ETFs
    • Starting at $0.25/contract on options
  • Minimum Deposit
    • $2,500 for Active Web
    • $10,000 for Pro
    • $25,000 balance for day trading without restriction

Two similar platforms

There's no way to quickly spot the differences between the two platforms here, Active Web and SpeedTrader Pro: they both have the same routes, execution and speed. According to the support rep we chatted with online (which was answered very quickly, by the way), the only significant difference in function is that Pro allows the use of hot keys. Also, Active Web requires a minimum funding of $2500, while Pro goes up to $10,000.

Choose your clearing service

Speaking of funding, SpeedTrader also requires you to choose whether you want to use Apex Pro or AXOS clearing. There's nothing on the "Fund Your Account" page that spells out the difference between the two; going back to our ever-so-helpful live chat support, we learned that "Apex offers 3 locate venues and AXOS only has 1. Apex does not offer option trading and AXOS does. Apex only offers per share commission and AXOS offers your choice of per share or per trade." Make of that what you will and choose accordingly.

Make at least 15 trades each quarter

You'll definitely not want to fund your SpeedTrader account and then let it sit: you're charged an inactivity fee of $30/quarter if you don't execute at least 15 trades over that timeframe.

Best Online Stock Trading Platforms

14-day free trial of SpeedTrader Pro

We encourage you to use the 14-day Trial Demo of SpeedTrader Pro, even if you think you may just want to open an Active account. Place simulated trades, analyze level 2 screens, and try out all of SpeedTrader's features before deciding if it's the right fit for your approach to stock trading online. No credit card info is required, making it a risk-free way to put this platform through its paces.

Many related businesses

There are several business names associated with SpeedTrader, including Mint Global Markets and Stock USA Execution Services. We were only able to find a Better Business Bureau listing for the latter, and even that had SpeedTrader as "Not Rated" due to insufficient information. That's a little odd, but not necessarily troubling, for a company that's been around for over 20 years.

Very limited audience for this service

But, when we looked at expert options on this online stock trading platform, we weren't impressed. It was described as "underperforming" in many ways, from commissions to sophistication - and even we could see that from our initial look at the website and what information was (and wasn't) readily available. Pros agree that SpeedTrader is 100% not for inexperienced investors, long-term buy-and-hold clients, or anyone who wants access to fundamental research helps that are often found on rival platforms.

Better options exist for experienced, active traders

SpeedTrader isn't the worst stock trading platform we found, but they have a long way to go before reaching the top of our rankings. Beginners will find this service too difficult to understand, and even experts will have a hard time tracking down some of the basic details they'll need in order to decide whether to use this platform. You've got many higher-ranked options to look at before settling for SpeedTrader.

Webull Review 1.5 Star Rating

Webull

1.5 Star Rating
  • 6 free stocks when you open and fund a new account
  • Full extended hours trading
  • 24/7 online help
  • Stocks, fractional shares, options, ETFs, OTC, ADRs

There are some things you should know about Webull right from the get-go. They're pretty vague about themselves, with no information on their site about their leadership, history in the investment marketplace, or background details. Why? Probably because Webull is owned by Fumi Technology, a Chinese holding company backed by private equity investors in China. Our research showed that this online stock trading platform was created in 2017 by a former employee of Alibaba and the smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi. That's a big difference between Webull and most of the other services we evaluated, who have a strong, decades-long history in the US.

Just the facts

  • Costs
    • $0 commision
  • Minimum Deposit
    • None

Free fractional shares when you sign up and fund an account

Webull allows you to set up your account either as an IRA (traditional, Roth, or rollover) or as an individual brokerage account. Their available investment products include stocks, fractional shares, options, ETFs, OTC, and ADRs - and there's plenty of information on each one if anything is new to you. When you open an account, you'll receive two free fractional share stocks, each valued up to $300 (though you should expect it to be worth less than that). Then, when you've made an initial deposit - of any amount - you'll get four more free fractional share stocks, this time valued at up to $3,000 each. Going forward, you'll pay no commissions on any transactions and there's no minimum balance requirement.

Preview the dashboard

To get a preview of how your Webull dashboard will look, just click on the Trade tab at the top of the page. It's downloadable to your desktop once you become a client, and it gives you a pretty straightforward way to track your investments' performance, your positions, any watchlist stocks you choose to set up, and so on.

Free learning tools worth using

One resource we actually like here - and that you can use whether you become a Webull client or not - is the Learn category. Take a course on Options Basics, improve your understanding of Financial Vocabularies, or make sure you're clear on how stock splits and dividends work.

Best Online Stock Trading Platforms

"F" from the BBB for not responding to 100+ complaints

Are you wondering why, with all of these benefits, Webull has received such a low ranking here? It's because of Webull's reputation. We were deeply troubled to see the reasons behind the Better Business Bureau's "F" rating of this stock trading platform. Over 5 years in operation, Webull had received 197 complaints at the BBB: 16 weren't resolved, and a whopping 110 of them received no response at all from Webull. On top of that, there was an open case with the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) that involved a Cease and Desist Order as well as a fine for failing to respond to a customer complaint there. That's unacceptable in an industry that can involve thousands of dollars (or more) and people's life savings.

Scary feedback from clients

It's almost impossible to find any investor who loves the experience they've had with Webull. Some of the ways they've described this platform include "scam" , "expensive lesson" , "manipulative" , and worse. A few clients said that their accounts were closed inexplicably, it was hard to get any of their money back, and Webull executed trades that weren't authorized by the investor.

Don't use this online stock trading platform

There's nothing about Webull that says you can trust them as your online stock trading platform. Fortunately, you've got many other choices for investing, whether you're an active trader or a long-term investor (or both). Choose a higher-rated service and avoid Webull.

Robinhood Review 1 Star Rating

Robinhood

1 Star Rating
  • Fractional shares available
  • Invest in stocks, ETFs, and options
  • No commissions
  • 24/7 live customer support
  • First stock free

You can get a sense of the purpose behind Robinhood just from its name. The company was founded to give everyday investors access to low-cost investments - just like the big Wall Street firms get every day. On a mission to "democratize finance for all" , this online stock trading platform definitely makes the effort to help people from all walks of life to feel comfortable with investing, banking, and so forth.

Just the facts

  • Costs
    • Commission-free on stocks, options, and ETFs
  • Minimum Deposit
    • $1

User-friendly for new investors

Robinhood is definitely approachable if you're brand-new to investing. Use the app or your laptop to see your investments at a glance. You won't pay any commissions whether you choose stocks, ETFs or options, and this is one of a handful of choices if you like the idea of fractional shares (for example, if you want to invest in Amazon but don't want to pay over $100 for a single share). You can get help from a Robinhood rep via phone 24/7, and they'll even fund your first stock (but be sure to read the terms and conditions on that).

Options for active traders too

But, that doesn't mean that Robinhood doesn't have options for more experienced investors. Sign up for their Gold program ($5/month) and eliminate the 5-day waiting period on deposits (up to $50,000), get more access to sources that can inform your investing strategies, and borrow money at an interest rate of 4.25% for margin investing.

Best Online Stock Trading Platforms

"F" rating, fines and fraud - oh my

Sounds pretty good, right? You may be wondering, then, why this stock trading platform is at the bottom of our rankings. This is almost entirely due to Robinhood's "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau - and the 2021 FINRA fine of $57 million that you'll find described on the BBB listing. That amount doesn't even include the $12.6 million that Robinhood was required to pay in client restitution as well. This online stock trading platform was penalized for communicating misleading and/or false information to its customers, approving people for option trading who should have been declined, system failures that led to investor losses, and failing to report thousands of customer complaints that Robinhood was required to disclose. Not a good look at all. It's no wonder that there were more than 800 complaints logged by the BBB in the last year alone.

Deeply dissatisfied clients

That's what you'll find almost everywhere you look outside of the BBB too. From finance experts to everyday investors, people say that the platform is nice to use at first but the service falls apart quickly. Robinhood's app users describe update lags that almost make it unusable, getting locked out and not being able to reach anyone in support, and features that are only useful for beginners to investing.

Avoid this online stock trading platform

For all of these reasons, we can't recommend Robinhood as a trustworthy stock trading platform. Both beginners and expert investors alike will want to choose a service that's better suited to their needs - and without all of the black marks on Robinhood's reputation that don't show any signs of improvement.

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Continued from above...

Other investors might want a stock trading service that includes access to a financial advisor. These accounts usually come with fees as a percentage of the total amount invested, but it can be well worth the cost if you don't want to be involved in the day-to-day management and strategy on your account. Some services also let you choose a robo-investor: you enter your timeframe, investment goals, and risk tolerance, and a portfolio matching those targets is automatically generated and rebalanced over time. On those types of accounts, you can find options with no fees - and the ones that do charge fees are usually much less expensive than working with a human advisor one-on-one.

Keep in mind that most of today's online stock trading platforms very proudly advertise that they charge "$0 fees" . Is that true? Yes and no. More often than not, that refers to a lack of commissions on certain types of investments, usually stocks, ETFs, and sometimes options as well. However, you'll always find other costs associated with your investment - like transfer or withdrawal fees, surrender charges, and annual fees. Of course, it's still a money-saver to have no commissions on at least some of your trades; make enough on your investments and any other fees will easily be covered and then some.

So, which online stock trading platform is best for you? Here are some of the criteria to keep in mind:

  • Intended Investment Strategy. As we mentioned, your approach to investing will be the first factor to consider. Active trader? Buy-and-hold? Investing to make a lot of money but willing to take a lot of risks"or securing your retirement without being overly bold?
  • Ease of Use. How hard is it to navigate the site? Is it easy to open an account, manage your investments, and get advice?
  • Tools. What does the platform offer to help you with your investments? Is there a mobile app? Does the service connect you with research, data, and planning tools that are a good match for your level of expertise?
  • Reputation. What do other clients say about their experiences with the company? Is this a service with a long history in the financial industry or a relative newcomer? How are issues handled by the customer service team? Will you and your investments be in good hands here?

To help you make the most of your investments, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's most popular online stock trading platforms. We hope this information helps you reach your financial goals!

The Best Online Stock Trading Platforms Compare Online Stock Trading Platforms Compare Online Stock Trading Platform Reviews What are the best Online Stock Trading Platforms Best Online Stock Trading Platform Reviews

Online Stock Trading Platform FAQ

No! In fact, most online stock trading platforms go out of their way to introduce beginners to the investment process. Online stock trading is appropriate for all levels of experience.
It's commonly accepted that investing in the stock market is an essential part of growing one's wealth. Using buying and selling stock online is a terrific way to get started or to continue expanding your portfolio. These stock trading platforms often have 24/7 assistance, in contrast with your local investment firm that operates according to traditional business hours. Plus, trading stock online can take off any pressure you might feel, letting you do the research and make your choices at your own pace and comfort level.
No matter which online stock trading platform you choose, you'll likely have a wealth of options at your fingertips. From access to third-party resources like Morningstar and CFRA, to plans that include professional management of your investments, you can get as much (or as little) input as you want.
Some stock trading platforms let you enter financial information from other institutions, so that you have an all-in-one place to track your net worth. You may also see tools for budgeting, tracking spending, and so forth. Also, if you choose a platform that's connected with your bank, you might get extra perks like free stock trades or seamless transfer of funds between accounts.
It's only as expensive as you decide to make it. You'll typically see per-trade fees, but some platforms have no-charge options. For example, you might be able to buy and sell mutual funds with no additional fees, or only pay fees for trades that require a live broker's assistance.
That depends on the stock trading platform you select. If you're just getting started, you may want to choose to invest with a service that has no minimum deposit. On the other hand, if you're an experienced investor and you're working with a larger investment amount, you'll be able to access more options among stock trading platforms.
Most stock trading platforms offer no guarantee that you'll be satisfied with their services. However, there are a small number of platforms that will refund your service fees and/or commissions paid if you're not happy, while working with you to address the problem.
Yes! This is a highly-regulated industry, and most of the stock trading platforms you'll find have been in business for decades (if not longer!). Where you decide to trade stocks will largely depend on your experience level with investing, the amount you're looking to put into the market, and what kind of investment help you want to have available.

Compare Online Stock Trading Platforms

Select any 2 Online Stock Trading Platforms to compare them head to head

best-stock-trading-platforms
  • Fidelity
  • Charles Schwab
  • Interactive Brokers
  • Zacks Trade
  • Merrill Edge
  • TradeStation
  • Sogo Trade
  • TD Ameritrade
  • Firstrade
  • Ally
  • E*Trade
  • SpeedTrader
  • Webull
  • Robinhood
Fidelity vs Charles Schwab Fidelity vs Interactive Brokers Fidelity vs Zacks Trade Fidelity vs Merrill Edge Fidelity vs TradeStation Fidelity vs Sogo Trade Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade Fidelity vs Firstrade Fidelity vs Ally Fidelity vs E*Trade Fidelity vs SpeedTrader Fidelity vs Webull Fidelity vs Robinhood Charles Schwab vs Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab vs Zacks Trade Charles Schwab vs Merrill Edge Charles Schwab vs TradeStation Charles Schwab vs Sogo Trade Charles Schwab vs TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab vs Firstrade Charles Schwab vs Ally Charles Schwab vs E*Trade Charles Schwab vs SpeedTrader Charles Schwab vs Webull Charles Schwab vs Robinhood Interactive Brokers vs Zacks Trade Interactive Brokers vs Merrill Edge Interactive Brokers vs TradeStation Interactive Brokers vs Sogo Trade Interactive Brokers vs TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers vs Firstrade Interactive Brokers vs Ally Interactive Brokers vs E*Trade Interactive Brokers vs SpeedTrader Interactive Brokers vs Webull Interactive Brokers vs Robinhood Zacks Trade vs Merrill Edge Zacks Trade vs TradeStation Zacks Trade vs Sogo Trade Zacks Trade vs TD Ameritrade Zacks Trade vs Firstrade Zacks Trade vs Ally Zacks Trade vs E*Trade Zacks Trade vs SpeedTrader Zacks Trade vs Webull Zacks Trade vs Robinhood Merrill Edge vs TradeStation Merrill Edge vs Sogo Trade Merrill Edge vs TD Ameritrade Merrill Edge vs Firstrade Merrill Edge vs Ally Merrill Edge vs E*Trade Merrill Edge vs SpeedTrader Merrill Edge vs Webull Merrill Edge vs Robinhood TradeStation vs Sogo Trade TradeStation vs TD Ameritrade TradeStation vs Firstrade TradeStation vs Ally TradeStation vs E*Trade TradeStation vs SpeedTrader TradeStation vs Webull TradeStation vs Robinhood Sogo Trade vs TD Ameritrade Sogo Trade vs Firstrade Sogo Trade vs Ally Sogo Trade vs E*Trade Sogo Trade vs SpeedTrader Sogo Trade vs Webull Sogo Trade vs Robinhood TD Ameritrade vs Firstrade TD Ameritrade vs Ally TD Ameritrade vs E*Trade TD Ameritrade vs SpeedTrader TD Ameritrade vs Webull TD Ameritrade vs Robinhood Firstrade vs Ally Firstrade vs E*Trade Firstrade vs SpeedTrader Firstrade vs Webull Firstrade vs Robinhood Ally vs E*Trade Ally vs SpeedTrader Ally vs Webull Ally vs Robinhood E*Trade vs SpeedTrader E*Trade vs Webull E*Trade vs Robinhood SpeedTrader vs Webull SpeedTrader vs Robinhood Webull vs Robinhood
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